FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Real Cause of Unemployment: Employees!

Washington and Wall Street breathed a sigh of relief today at news that the economic downturn is not, in fact, responsible for a record 5.1 million job losses and an unemployment rate of 8.5%. According to a report just released by the Institute for the Advancement of Middle Management and Human Resource Depletion, a bipartisan think tank funded by Wal-Mart, it is the downtrodden nature of employees themselves that has forced companies to lay them off.

“These are good, solid American companies that subscribe to the bootstrap model, where each American is solely responsible for attaining success beyond his or her wildest dreams,” stated Dr. Lars Lunchbucket, director of the Institute, at a Beltway mixer.
“Obviously, the problem wasn’t the employers,” Dr. Lunchbucket continued, “so we studied the folks they laid off. After deep scientific analysis, we were able to ascertain that each and every one of the 6.14 million Americans now on the unemployment rolls – I believe mathematicians call this 100% – had failed to emulate this model of individual self-actualization. In layman’s terms, they got dumped because they weren’t rich and famous.”

Conversely, Dr. Lunchbucket explained, in a control group of movie stars, Nobel laureates, fascist dictators, and illustrious dead people such as Shakespeare and King Tutankhamen, there were absolutely no layoffs!

Treasury secretary Timothy F. Geithner welcomed the Institute’s findings. “I knew that if we kept throwing unwarranted tax dollars at rich and famous CEO’s, sooner or later they’d realize our economy can’t bear the weight of millions upon millions of competent, hardworking Nobodies simply doing their jobs,” stated Geithner. “On the other hand, take someone like Julia Roberts. She’s rich, she’s famous, she really worked for what she has. Especially her face. That girl could walk into any office or factory in America and get any job she wants. Did you see Erin Brockovich? Hell, I’d hire her in a second.”

Jasper Phlegm, senior partner at the heavy-hitting corporate law firm of Shingles, Arse, Smegma, Merde & Beelzebub LLP, disagrees about Julia Roberts, preferring the bygone, halcyon days of Jimmy Stewart. However, Mr. Phlegm says he feels vindicated by the study.

“We just laid off over 50 of our best support staff,” said Mr. Phlegm. “Why? Because they pissed away their little lives buying groceries, driving their kids to cello lessons, paying the light bills. It’s OK to play loveable losers in the movies. I cried watching It’s a Wonderful Life, for god’s sake. But to actually live like that – a Nobody from Nowheresville? Ghastly.”

Ironically, the American public, comprised largely of poor and obscure people who also believe in rugged, bootstrap individualism, appears to accept the study’s findings. Except for a few self-avowed “Bolsheviks” who adhere to a rather arcane theory that the economic system itself is at fault, Americans have demonstrated a palpable lack of outrage at the hemorrhaging of their jobs. Psychologists suggest this response might indicate that, once individuals comprehend that they are not, in reality, rich and famous, they are likely to see themselves as “Nobody.”

“I know I screwed up,” said Biff Longshoreman, 32, who recently lost his job as word processor at Shingles, Arse. “My wife just gave birth to our third kid, and he needs an operation, so I was working 12-hour days when I got downsized. They marched me out of that building like I’d just been caught embezzling – what a wakeup call. All that time, I could have been a contender. Instead of a bum. Let’s face it, that’s what I am.”

Dr. Felicity Sack-Boot, eminent psychologist and author of the bestseller I’m Rich and Famous, You’re Not OK, has argued that self-hatred may actually play a healthy role in helping the unemployed adjust to downward mobility.

“In order for the personality to mature under current societal norms, people today would be wise to embrace a whole new level of hopelessness,” said Dr. Sack-Boot. “We need to learn how to crush our self-esteem to the point where our biggest life goal is to possess the same basic human rights that are typically afforded the average multinational corporation.”

Dr. Lunchbucket concurs, adding that the increasingly popular “Nobody” identity seems to be giving rise to a vibrant “folk” subculture that is perfecting memes of self-expression, such as family-style murder-suicides, squatting in one’s own, foreclosed home, and do-it-yourself kidney transplants.

While this may be acceptable behavior for the unemployed, cautioned Dr. Lunchbucket, people who still have their jobs should try to remain “upbeat” and develop psychological defense mechanisms that prevent depressive “bonding” with the jobless.

“When these people moan and sigh about how they’ve wasted their lives,” Dr. Lunchbucket advised, “It’s important to put their agony in the proper perspective. You need to step up and tell them: ‘It’s capitalism, stupid – you’re supposed to waste your life.’ Then turn away and start visualizing yourself as really, really rich and famous.”

SUSIE DAY can be reached at: sday@skadden.com

©  SUSIE DAY, 2009

More articles by:
September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail